Sekinah Brown is a style-watcher.
A sought-after Costume Designer for film and television, she keeps her eyes open to street style, body language, and looks from all walks of life to create character narratives within her costume design. She knows that inspiration can be found on Crenshaw Boulevard, Rodeo Drive, and all points in between. Her study of style never stops.
A native of the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, Brown worked her way up to department lead by starting at the very bottom of the production ladder. At every chance as a young production assistant, she would sneak hopeful glimpses into the costume trailer. It was Oprah Winfrey’s voice echoing from the television one day, encouraging her to answer the call of her own dreams. Brown knew she had to find a way inside that trailer. Shortly after, she received a call to assist a wardrobe stylist on a music video – one that turned out to be the most difficult job of her career to date – and there began her climb. Brown proudly rattles off the list of positions she’s cycled through: “I started as an intern, then I became a PA, Set Costumer, Buyer, Assistant Designer, and only then became a Costume Designer,” she shares.“In order to be good at what you do, you must understand how each role within your department plays a major part in bringing your vision to light.”
Brown implements an intricate creative approach to each of her projects. She carefully dissects the script to understand each character inside and out, but there’s much more than just people to consider. “I’m thinking about color palettes and textures… What color chair the actor will be sitting in – what color the walls are. I keep all of these things in mind while also working to make the character as authentic as possible.”
In June 2016, Brown was featured in Vogue Italia for her work as a black woman in Costume Design. She appeared alongside other notable stylists and designers of color.
In a thankless industry, a bit of magic: Brown recently learned that a university-level journalism professor uses clips of her show “Being Mary Jane,” whose lead characters work as broadcast journalists – to teach his aspiring students how to dress professionally for their field. Small breaths of fresh air like this, or a moment of mutual admiration and respect captured while working with beloved actress Phylicia Rashad, are among the special memories helping to confirm to Brown that she has indeed answered the call of her dreams.
Sekinah Brown is an active member of The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and former member of IATSE Local 479. She is represented by Ivana Savic at GSK Talent.